Today, the last Transporter T2 is being built in the VW plant in Sao Bernardo Do Campo, Brazil. That is a special - and for the enthusiasts a milestone accompanied by mixed feelings. After dhe T2 debuted in 1967 in Europe, followed by the launch in Brazil in 1975. In total, the T2 was produced for over 46 years. This is striking, because the European Bulli was already succeeded by the T1979 in 3. In South America, therefore, he held out until today. Tighter Brazilian safety requirements per 1 January 2014 is putting an end to that, to the sadness of many.
The unprecedentedly long production time of the Volkswagen T2 in Brazil is no coincidence. That has everything to do with its enormous space, its relatively affordable price and its legendary reliability. The T2, which is called 'Kombi' in Brazil, has always been praised for its versatility. He is still used as an ambulance, fire engine, mobile office, 'news car' for TV / radio stations and as a family car.
Successful Brazilian T1 and T2 production since 1957
Since the production start of predecessor T1 in September 1957, around 1.560.000 Transporters have been built at the Volkswagen plant in São Bernardo do Campo. Originally, he had an air-cooled 1,2-liter four-cylinder boxer engine with 30 hp, followed later by an 1,5-liter boxer with 52 hp. The T2 has been the best-selling car in its segment since its introduction in Brazil. It was introduced to the Brazilian market in 1975. This was accompanied by the introduction of an 1,6-liter boxer engine with 58 hp. The T1981 diesel appeared in 2. A version with an ethanol engine followed in 1982. Only in 2005 was the proven air-cooled boxer engine replaced by an economical, water-cooled power source suitable for gasoline, ethanol or any combination of these fuels.
Impressive European history
The T2 was also frequently built in mainland Germany: 2.533.188 units left the factories. Eight years before the Brazilian market introduction, the T2 saw the light of day in Europe. That first generation of German T2s was built between August 1967 and July 1971. This is especially recognizable by the small oval tail lights and the front direction indicators, which were placed under the headlights. The back is also rounder than its actual successor T2b. This was launched in August 1972 after the intermediate model T2a / b - a mix of the first and the second version - had served for more than a year. The 1972 model has a different shape despite its great recognisability. Typical features were the larger vents in the rear window pillars, the larger rear lights and the block-shaped direction indicators that were now placed above the headlights on the characteristic Bullifront. The T2 has been technically improved over the years. The beloved VW also took steps in terms of safety. Up to and including the European production stop in 1979 - when the European T2 was succeeded by the T3 - the Bulli was built for many purposes. He was there, among other things, as a passenger bus, as a closed version and as a pick-up with single and double cab. The concept was also suitable for special versions. The T2 was converted into a motorhome by various professional bodyworkers, such as Westfalia, and the VW-Nutzfahrzeug department also developed an Allrad version in 1975.
European engine variants
The characteristic T2, popular in classic circles, was available with five different engines during its European career. The kick-off was carried out with the base engine of 1967 cc built from 1.584 up to and including the European production end. In 1970 it got a little more power from its makers: it rose from 47 pk to 50 pk. From 1971, Volkswagen also supplied the "Flach engine" with 1.679 cc and two carburetors in the T2. This power source was based on the VW 411 / 412 engine. In 1973 the 1.800 cc variant with 68 hp and a nice couple of 129 Nm replaced it. This was further developed into the engine that was included in the T1975 delivery program from 2 to the European production end. That was the 1.970 cc engine, which replaced the 1.8 and, like its predecessor, was fitted with two Solex carburetors. This two liter variant generated a torque of 141,2 Nm that was released at 2.800 revolutions per minute.
Say goodbye in style
Safety reasons have now stopped production of the T2. From January 1, it is mandatory in Brazil to equip new cars with ABS and airbags. The concept of the T2 - one of the best-selling cars in the South American country this year - does not offer that space. To celebrate the T2's farewell, Volkswagen planned a number of 600 Last Edition versions. Due to the high demand, this number was increased to 1.200 copies. The Last Editions are equipped with 'two tone' paint and other nostalgic details such as white wall tires. The interior is equipped with a radio and curtains at the rear. The farewell version marks the end of the production of one of the most striking Volkswagens that was built. One consolation: the proven reliability and solidity will undoubtedly ensure that the T2 remains in the European and South American streets for years to come.